Let’s Make Something Good!

Here we go, headed into the making-est time of the year! And even though the 2020 Holiday Season may not offer the exact same opportunities for celebration as previous years, it doesn’t mean you can’t pick and choose some favorite parts! Maybe you just want to experiment with new foods or you want to get back into crafting, this feels like a good time to change things up.

If you’re ready to start planning, why not take a look at the books available in Fall Harvest, Fall Flavors, Crafting for the Holiday Season, or Why Buy it When You Can Make it? And while you’re making new stuff, if you want a book to listen to, I just finished Fortune Favors the Dead by Stephen Spotswood -here’s hoping it the first in (long running) series!

-Stacey

Take a Break, Read a Book!

So you say you want to take a break but you still want to keep up with those timely topics of: Democracy and Spooookkkyyy Season? Guess what! You can tune out from some of the daily excitement, on both topics, with a …book! Read a little -have a little conversation, feel done with the conversation (I mean really, obviously chocolate is a better treat than a lollipop,right?!) and excuse yourself back to that page turner you’ve got going on!!

If you want to read something to keep up with your friends talking about Democracy, social issues, and past or current politics, check out the Five Days for Democracy collection. Feeling extra inspired? You can check out some of the resources on the 5DaysforDemocracy website, take a challenge or watch a video!

Or maybe you want to look over your shoulder a lot, think way too much about that strange noise, or stress eat some crunchy foods? Well then you might want to read a Spooky Book for Adults! (And keep checking back as new books are being added all the time!)

Me? Maybe I’ll give out chocolate *and* lollipops this year!

Whatever you pick, I hope it’s all treats and no tricks! -Stacey

What’s Your Voting Plan?

I’m sure you’ve seen this question recently, maybe many times recently, and I had been brushing it off. I vote. I was feeling all confident about knowing what I need to do, with my absentee ballot requested waaaay back in Summer. (Perhaps a little smug about my readiness to make sure my voice is heard?) And today I got a little reality check. I’m confident in my in-person voting, but there’s more to learn about absentee ballots….

Did you know postage due on your ballot might be greater than the value of one USPS forever stamp ? Due to size and weight, Cuyahoga County’s ballot may cost .65 and first class postage is .55. How do you know the cost for sure? You can stop in your local United States Post Office to get it weighed and postmarked, or call your county’s Board of Elections to confirm the cost. The Secretary of State’s site also includes information that you should not use a postage meter or online service to “affix postage” but can “use a postage label purchased at a USPS customer service window or vending machine” and “the date on the label is the postmark.” You should read the whole list for a better understanding, but key ideas have been highlighted in case someone is compelled to skim… (again, please read it all as it’s pretty short and very important!)

You can also drop your absentee ballot off at your local board of elections once early voting starts on Tuesday, October 6. (If you live in Cuyahoga County, October 6th is also the day when absentee ballots will be mailed out.)

If you’re a regular voter by mail and you have more tips for us newbies, please share your knowledge!

Alright so TL:DR: please be sure you’re prepared to vote on November 3, 2020!

– Stacey

5Days4Democracy -There’s Still Time!

Tomorrow is the first official day of the Five Days for Democracy event and you can sign up now, or any time this week, to receive Monday’s email! This might be the easiest program *ever* to join but will hopefully get you thinking and taking action, which can be hard work. It’s good for us flex those decision making muscles, it’s even better to feel like you made a positive difference for yourself and others. During these five days of emails, full of things to read or watch, small actions we can take every day or once in a while, and encourage discussion, all adding a little zing to your inbox! And who doesn’t need a little zing?!

Five days. Five challenges. Five ways to strengthen your role in our democracy.

—Stacey

5Days4Democracy -Join Us!

One of the things I most appreciate about being a citizen of the United States of America? I can make a difference each time I vote! And in-between elections, I can contact elected representatives, from local to Federal, when an issue is important to me!

From Monday, September 28 to Friday, October 2, Rocky River Public Library, our fellow public library systems in Cuyahoga County, and City Club of Cleveland are asking you to participate in Five Days for Democracy—a week dedicated to spending just a little bit of time each day thinking about what democracy means to you, why it’s important, and why it’s worth fighting for.

When you sign up, you’ll receive an email each day packed with opportunities to explore different facets of our democracy, in all its aspirations and failings. From listening to a podcast to watching a video, reading an article or responding to a call to action, each day you’ll pick one challenge to complete. And maybe you’d like to start reading a little something right now, like a little prep work for the week? Check out on of the many titles suggested in the 5 Days for Democracy collection!

Five days. Five challenges. Five ways to strengthen your role in our democracy.

Sign up at Five Days for Democracy and get ready to embrace your voting power!

—Stacey

An Apple A Day, plus other foods!

Wow. How did it get to be Fall? I’m a fan of cozy sweaters, beautiful Fall foliage, new school supplies (less this year than usual -obvs), and Halloween, but I’m not ready yet… are you?

It’s here, whether any of us are ready or not, and I have decided now is a good time to match up my excessive kitchen time with seasonal foods. Take that! (I don’t know who’s taking it but it felt good to put that there. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) I need a few more apples and I can make King Arthur Baking Company’s Old Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting (yum!) and then I”ll move along to searching for main meal options from books in the Fall Harvest collection… dessert should *always* be first!! If you have a tasty Fall recipe, please feel free to share! While I wait for ideas, maybe some soup?

-enjoy!
Stacey

Let’s Talk about Ohio

I don’t think there’s been anything really easy about this year so far and so I like to take a small win (or a rare 2020 big win!) whenever I can find one! I just finished reading Barnstorming Ohio To Understand America  by David Giffels and it’s definitely in my win column for this week!

Ohio. We are full of variety and contradictions. We are the 7th most populous state but 34th in total are; the top of the State gets incredibly cold with lots of snow and the lower half can be 10 to 20 degrees warmer with almost no snow; our economy is based on agriculture, industry, and innovative ideas; and there’s an incredible range of natural landscapes to explore. Ohioans have plenty to be proud about and issues we need to solve, but we are also an almost perfect cross-section of the U.S.A.

In Barnstorming Ohio, Mr. Giffels provides the current and historical context that helped me to understand exactly what it means to be seen as bellwether State for the Country. Having thoughtful conversations with the people who live in the “Five Ohios” (representing diverse voting communities) and offering great insights for what could be a larger, nation-wide conversation, this book was engaging, eye-opening, and easy-to-read. As we head into the 2020 General Election, you might also find this book worth checking out, and then we can chat!

(Small tangent -Did you know tomato juice is the official beverage of Ohio? Can we vote on that?)

—Stacey

Chadwick Boseman’s Gift

I hadn’t read any Black Panther comics or books and had the same amount of background knowledge of his place in the Marvel Universe as I did about Thor (ie – so very, very little) before seeing the movie based on the character. Oh. My. Gosh. The 2018 film staring Chadwick Boseman was 134 minutes of greatness!! The history and lore of Wakanda, the special effects, the serious moments mixed with humorous moments, all the surprise twists, and getting to watch Chadwick Boseman create an unforgettable, strong, vulnerable hero as King T’Challa. Mr. Boseman passed away on August 29th but his kindness, his vision of what the movie industry could be, and his long list of films, speak to the legacy of this legend, taken too soon. Thank you for all the gifts you gave to us Mr. Chadwick Boseman!

Virtual One Community Reads: Fall 2020

I’m finding it difficult to manage the intense ups and downs of this year -like pretty much *everybody* I talk to, and I feel like we all need:1) a seriously quality nap -maybe every day?, 2) more upbeat news on a regular basis, and 3) a way to contribute to the good things we see happening in the World. Maybe joining the conversations during our virtual One Community Reads helps you with at least two of the three items in the previous list?

For the second time this year all nine public library systems and our community partners in Cuyahoga County are working together to host a One Community Reads, a chance to engage and discuss timely and important topics. From August through December, you’ll be able to read a variety of books, attend virtual programs throughout Cuyahoga County, and join the conversation. And consider this -think of how easy it will be to attend an East Side or Downtown program from the comfort of your West Side couch!

A full list of events is available on OneCommunityReads.org

Events hosted by Rocky River Public Library:
Let’s Talk About Race – Presentation and Q&A
Wednesday, August 19, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Join Dr. Ronnie Dunn, Chief Diversity Officer at Cleveland State University, for a discussion on race and racism, the Black Lives Matter movement, and policing in the United States. This was a virtual program held on Zoom. (It’s over but worth noting -imho)

Booked by the Lieutenant
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
Thursday, August 27, 6:30 -8:00 pm
Read to learn more about how guilt and fear can create defensiveness, how white fragility protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively, before joining a discussion of ideas led by Lt. George Lichman. Register at: https://bit.ly/2XN8ZcE to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Ida Finds Her Voice: Author Visit
For families of all ages
Tuesday, September 15, 7:00 pm
Join Kate Anderson Foley, Ph.D. and Jenifer Anderson-Smith for a reading of their book Ida Finds Her Voice and a conversation about listening to one’s inner voice. We will discuss ways to advocate for kindness and social justice. This will be an opportunity for our youth and our experienced adults to better understand how to find the hero inside ourselves. Register at: https://bit.ly/2PTqLGZ to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

How to Talk to Your Children About Racism
Thursday, September 17, 6:30-7:30 pm
Racism is an important parenting topic that many struggle or are uncomfortable with, but these conversations are necessary in this time of bias and violence against people of color. Join Adrianne Fletcher, PhD., Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at Case Western Reserve University, for a frank discussion on how to talk to your children about race and racism. Register at: https://bit.ly/3adGIAP to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

We Read Together, We Stand Together Beanstack Program and Discussion Group
Mondays, 7:00-8:00 pm
This new discussion group is a community collaboration that will provide students in grades 6-12 and their interested parents or guardians with an opportunity to read diverse voices and have conversations on a variety of topics. Grades 6-12 and parents/guardians. @Rocky River Public Library.

Monday, September 21, Initial Meeting to introduce participants to Beanstack suggested readings and format for future discussions. Register at: https://bit.ly/3kufXwR to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program,

Monday, October 5 Topic: African American Voices Register at: https://bit.ly/31F6WZ7 to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program,

Monday, October 19 Topic: Social Injustice and Voting Rights Register at: https://bit.ly/2XKYzuc to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Monday, November 2 Topic: Poverty and Homelessness Register at: https://bit.ly/3afxqEp to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Monday, November 16 Topic: Native American Voices Register at: https://bit.ly/3fMxDjQ to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Monday, December 7 Topic: Diverse Abilities Register at: https://bit.ly/3fINJLm to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Monday, December 21 Topic: Asian American Voices Register at: https://bit.ly/3gJTXM8 to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Adult Rocky River Readers Book Club
Aperiogon by Colum McCann
Thursday, October 8, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
This novel is based on the real-life friendship of two men, an Israeli and a Palestinian. Bonded over the experience of losing a child to war, these fathers decide to use their grief as a weapon for peace. Register at: https://bit.ly/3kH7XZE to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

An Outrage: Film Discussion with Dr. Gilbert Doho
Wednesday, October 14, 7:00-8:00 pm
Dr. Gilbert Doho, Head of the Ethnic Studies Department of Case Western Reserve University will moderate a remote discussion on the film An Outrage by Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren, a film addressing the history of lynching in the U.S. Register at: https://bit.ly/3iwHr3h to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.
Celebrate Multicultural Diversity Day
For all ages
Monday, October 19, 4:00-4:45 pm
Join us virtually as we share multicultural books, songs, rhymes, activities, and other resources that reflect the diversity of our community. Register online to receive an invitation to join this event. Participants will be able to pick up a packet prior to the program with directions and materials to use during the program. Register at: https://bit.ly/3ab32eD to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Booked by the Lieutenant
Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt, PhD
Wednesday, November 4, 7:00–8:30 pm
Read to learn more about unconscious racial bias through the author’s personal stories, her research, and learn strategies to address one of the central controversies of our time before joining a discussion of ideas led by Lt. George Lichman. Register at: https://bit.ly/3kvVrvH to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Observe World Kindness Day
For all ages
Friday, November 13, 11:00-11:45 am
Help us make the world a better place by promoting acts of good kindness through stories, songs, crafts, and other activities that can be shared with others in the community. Register online to receive an invitation to join this event. Participants will be able to pick up a packet prior to the program with directions and materials to use during the program. Register at: https://bit.ly/2F3u386 to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Novel Scares Book Discussion
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
Thursday, November 12, 7:00 -8:00 pm
After a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives, four American Indian men are tracked by an entity bent on revenge in this blending of classic horror and sharp social commentary. Registration required. Register at: https://bit.ly/2FcUqZx to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

-Stacey

Imagine Your Story -with a new recipe?

From the conversations I’ve been having, I know I’m not the only one suffering from cooking boredom. I’ve got my tried and true meals that I’ve relied on to make things a little easier right now, but I’m ready to try something else now. I’ve been looking at some of the cookbooks and some food science books (oddly intriguing) available as ebooks for inspiration, and then thought…. hmm, maybe it would be helpful to share a list? And so, What’s for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner collection came into being. If you find something you really enjoy (a recipe OR a whole book) please -feel free to share!

take care of yourselves!
—Stacey